The Pan African Business Forum has in strong unequivocal terms lashed out South African nationals currently engaged in xenophobic attacks against Africans in their country.
wpid-Xenophobic-attacks-on-Ghanaiansopt.jpgAccording to the Forum made up of astute African Business men and women, the worrying development in the Rainbow Nation had the tendency of affecting the economic fortunes and forward march of the African Continent.
The latest burst of anti-foreigner violence in South Africa has been largely blamed on a speech by Zulu King Goodwill Zwelithini, in which he blamed foreigners for South Africa?s high crime rate and asked them to ?take their bags and go?.
The king who received both local and international condemnation for inciting the killings of six people including a Ghanaian in this latest wave of Xenophobic attacks, has since said his words were misinterpreted with some arguing that Zwelithini simply articulated what many were feeling.
This is not the first wave of anti-foreigner violence in that country as a similar one in January, left foreign shopkeepers in and around the vast township of Soweto, south of Johannesburg, with no other option other than fleeing as looters killed six people and rampaged through the area.
And in 2008, 62 people were also killed in xenophobic violence across the city?s townships.
But the Pan African Business Forum has expressed worry that in the 21st Century, one of Africa?s largest economies and trailblazers ?could plunge themselves to such savage treatments against their fellow African brothers and sisters.?
Addressing a press conference in Accra on Saturday, to register their displeasure at the atrocities being meted out to foreign nationals, Chairman of the Forum, Dr Prosper Ladislas Agbesi underscored the need for South African locals to ?appreciate that a developing democracy like theirs cannot have all the critical skills they require, and that there would be a need to attract foreign skills in a regulated manner.?
Describing the attacks as ?unacceptable, inhuman, shameful and unconducive for economic growth and prosperity of the African continent,? Dr Agbesi fingered some external forces which he didn?t name as being behind these anti foreign sentiments and urgedwell-meaning Africans ?to rise up to the condemnation of this barbaric act by speaking to the conscience of the South African people and government.?
???Let it be stressed that Africa and Africans will no longer tolerate the evil mercenaries fanning and sponsoring the destabilization of the continent of Africa, be it through Boko Haram, Touareg,al Shabab,Xenophobia, etc,? he stressed.
He also added that the Pan African Business Forum ?will identify and do business with those who love us,distaste those who hate us and dislike those who are enemies of the African continent.?
Official data suggests there are about two million foreign nationals in South Africa, about 4% of the total population. But some estimates put the number of immigrants at five million.
Many South Africans are against the violence, but are also unhappy with the level of immigration and feel they are being undercut by immigrants from poorer countries.
Dr Agbesi who feared reprisal attacks appealed for calm among African countries who felt betrayed by what is currently happening in Africa?s second largest economy after majority of these countries stood by it and defended them during the days of Apartheid.
He also conveyed the warmest condolences from the Forum, to the affected people, their families and countries as a whole and expressed optimism that efforts were being made to bring this menace to a permanent stop.

Source: Ekow Annan
[email protected]/Twitter:ekowskare

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